Life at Deloitte
Andrew Kerr who has made that move back to Ireland
I am really enjoying the connected nature of Dublin as a hub connecting America with Europe and beyond. The 'new' vibe in the city with all the US techs setting up is palpable...but the cosy traditional pubs with open fires are still doing a fair trade too.
I first left my home town of Coleraine in the early '90s to study Technology and Business in Glasgow. From the memorable student days in Scotland I steered my career in a variety of directions - Automotive in England, Telecoms in Holland, Consumer Business in Switzerland, an MBA in Spain and a 12 month sabbatical to travel in South America and Asia.
I joined Deloitte in London in 2006 when my soon-to-be wife Lydia suggested it was time I "got a sensible job." Four years and 2 children later, with recession biting hard and, to be honest, not wanting to raise our children in London we opted to transfer down under to Melbourne. We arrived in spring, with son Max just 9-weeks old.
Australia was everything we expected and much, much more. Melbourne's reputation as one of the world's most liveable cities is well deserved. Climate, sport, food, wine, festivals and an obsession with healthy living made for a truly memorable 5 years. My career benefited too, with some wonderful transformation projects in Mining, Telecoms and Retail and some interesting opportunities crossing into Asia as well. With the arrival of our little Aussie, Mabel completing our brood we were now a family of 5, a long way away and starting to feel the strain of that distance. With aging parents back in Ireland and the prohibitive cost of schooling, property and childcare in Oz playing on our minds we started planning our return.
Lydia and I both did solo whistlestop reckie missions to see if it felt right. On our short trips home we were both blown away by the vibrancy, newfound optimism, growing multiculturalism and youthful feel of our home country. The Ireland we left some 25 years ago, the Ireland of our parents and our fellow emigrant peers was long gone. We were unanimous in our agreement that it was time for home.
And that is where Deloitte is such a wonderful place to work. My first daughter Celia learned to crawl in an apartment in Geneva whilst we lived for a few months in Switzerland, spending our weekends hiking in the Alps. Max spent his entire life to date in Australia and now, again thanks to the flexible, truly global nature of Deloitte, Mabel's childhood memories will be in Ireland.
My career hasn't suffered in the slightest either. I am really enjoying the connected nature of Dublin as a hub connecting America with Europe and beyond. The 'new' vibe in the city with all the US techs setting up is palpable...but the cosy traditional pubs and open fires are still doing a fair trade too.
As well as spending time in Dublin, I've made use of my international network and experience to provide consulting advice to some of Ireland's largest multinational companies as well as a few of those fast growing technology firms. There is a huge desire from Irish firms to work with experienced international people. In the 11 months I have been home I've done projects in Saudi Arabia, California, England and most recently Amsterdam - not forgetting my first ever visits to Cork as well. It is about as far as you can get in Ireland from Coleraine so I think that's a fair excuse for not having been there before.
Would I give any advice to people in a similar situation, considering such a move? I'd say, from a career perspective you can definitely find what you are looking for in Ireland. And from a lifestyle perspective my 8 year old daughter Celia can say it much better than me.
As she runs and jokes on a Northern beach with my smiling, and suddenly younger looking, father, she shouts in her Aussie accent.
"We,re home now Grandpa. It's awesome. I want to stay here forever"